Michael Fitzsimmons CPA

San Diego, CA

(619) 757-1500     info@fitz-cpa.com


Regular "Subchapter C" corporations, referred to as "C-Corporations" or simply “Corporations”, are no longer the first choice for most small businesses. Although they have historically offered more tax-free benefits for owner-employees, recent decades have seen the continued decline of C-corporation tax benefits while at the same time other business entities have gained many of the same or comparable tax benefits. However, in the right circumstances a C-corporation is the best entity for a small business.


  • Can use an accounting year other than the calendar year (fiscal year)
  • Some benefits, such as health care or education expense reimbursements, can be tax free to shareholder-employees.
  • Most dividends are "qualified dividends" taxed at long-term capital gains rates.
  • Capital gains tax savings on the sale of Qualified Small Business Stock (or deferral via qualified reinvestment)
  • Nonqualified deferred compensation – salary can be deferred to future years.


  • Income taken out as dividends is taxed twice: once at the corporate level and again as dividends at the shareholder level (problems include reasonable salary).
  • Income taken out as salary instead of dividends is subject to payroll taxes (problems include reasonable salary).
  • Personal Service Corporation rules may subject all corporate net income to the maximum tax rate.
  • Lower capital gains tax rate does not apply.
  • Capital losses can only be deducted against capital gains.
  • May need to pay out net income as bonus to owner-employees before year-end to avoid double-taxation (problems include reasonable salary)
  • Tax on Excess Accumulated Earnings.
  • Losses are "stuck" in the corporation and don't flow through to shareholders’ personal income tax returns.

Business Tax Strategies

Please refer to these pages for more tax savings ideas:

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